Castleton businesses love the students

Birdseye Diner server Dianna Amerio in action.

 Believe it or not, many businesses in the Castleton Community enjoy having VTSU Castleton students around. 

On a recent afternoon, several businesses were visited, and workers were asked if they prefer Castleton when the students are here or when they’re away on break. 

Perhaps surprisingly, some readers, workers, and residents at each place said they prefer to have the students in the community. 

Birdseye Dinner was first, where Diana Amerio greeted this reporter. 

The bubbly waitress chatted about students as the yummy smell of burgers and fries from the kitchen filled the room. 

Amerio has been working at the diner for three years, meaning she has experienced three summers without students around. 

She said she has some college student co-workers, some of whom work all year long. She said that the weekends while classes are in session tend to be busier, as she often gets many great kids from the wrestling team here and there for dinner. 

In addition, she said the students being in session also brings in business due to visitors, games and recruits. 

But Amerio said there is a downside to having students around. 

“Sometimes, when the campus is in session, and students are working, it causes my hours to get cut,” she said with a smile. 

However, in the next breath, she reiterated that she prefers to have them around. 

Amelia Harrison is a junior from VTSU who works at the Castleton Pizza Place & Deli. She said most of her co-workers are also students at the campus. 

Due to the many students working there, she said locals view having students around as a good thing. 

When asked if not having the students around affects business, Harrison said that much of their business does come from us students. 

But there’s a downside to that, too. 

“As you know, college students are not great tippers,” she said.

Val Brown, from the Village Store, said she loves getting the chance to work with students. Brown said how fun it is to work with kids from the campus, and she enjoys hearing about their classes and how they are doing in school. 

She said she realizes how important school is for students and always wants them to put school before work. 

Therefore, she’s always happy to cover a shift or two. 

“I always tell them that school comes before work, and I, along with others, will always cover a shift if needed,” she said. 

At the Jiffy Mart gas station-Dunkin Donuts business, cashier Thom Casey said that they have one student employee, but other than that, they only get a few. 

He said the students on campus bring a lot of business, especially for gas sales. 

When asked for a funny college student story, Casey shared how some students from out of state come in and ask to buy a lighter but don’t realize that the law in Vermont says you have to be 21, leaving them at a loss. 

Dunkin Donuts manager Thachary Tate said Dunkin currently employs six workers who are enrolled at Castleton. 

Like the other businesses, he said Dunkin benefits from the games that the campus hosts. 

More than 50 students filled their store one day after a game, he said. 

“When the campus is on break, our sales are cut in half,” he said. 

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